Louis Kalff Senior Desk Lamp
The Evoluon in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Philips logo on the base and the successor, the Major desk lamp
Evoluon AM radio from the sixties
Made after the building in Eindhoven Louis Kalff designed.
Lamps in the movies
A 1950s Louis Kalff Senior desk lamp was used as a prop in the 2017 Belgian television crime series Unité 42 (Unit 42). Starring Patrick Ridremont, Constance Gay and Tom Audenaert. It appears several times in the first episode, as you can see. Many other lamps appear in the series.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Louis Kalff Industrial Design Heritage Centre website
The complete history of the Philips company on their website
The Evoluon building – Wikipedia
Website of the Philips Museum in Eindhoven
Louis Kalff – Wikipedia (only in Dutch)
Les Rivières Pourpres TV series – IMDb
Unit 42 (2017) TV series – Wikipedia
Unit 42 (2017) TV series – IMDb
Silver and different version of this desk lamp
Louis Kalff Senior Desk Lamp
Materials: Round blue, turquoise painted curved base, cast iron counterweight inside. Built-in switch. Conical black lacquered copper rod, brass rod inside. Blue, turquoise painted aluminium mushroom lampshade with elongated slots and a whole in the middle. Painted white on the inside. Some metal & brass parts. Bakelite E27 socket.
Height: 50,5 cm / 19.88”
Lampshade: ∅ 40 cm / 15.74”
Base: ∅ 18 cm / 7.08”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 100 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. But preferably a silver tipped light bulb of 100 watt. Bulbs from 60 watt are smaller. (use a dimmer…)
Period: 1950s, 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Louis Christiaan Kalff.
Manufacturer: Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Other versions: This Louis Kalff Senior desk lamp was made in many different colours. Also produced with a stainless steel or brass rod. These lamps were made in several sizes. The biggest lamp, +- 60 cm / 23” high was for a 200 watt bulb. They were made in several varieties over the years. A silver and gold plated version can be found over here, on Vintageinfo.
Below the successor from the seventies named Major or Consul. In the late seventies and early eighties it was named Timor (69).
Koninklijke Philips N.V.
Inspired by the fast-growing electricity industry and the promising results of Gerard Philips own experiments to make reliable carbon filaments, Frederik Philips (his father) financed the purchase of a modest factory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands in 1891. Frederik Philips was a Jewish banker based in Zaltbommel.
In 1895, after difficult first four years and near bankruptcy, Anton Philips joined the company. He was Gerard’s younger brother. With Anton’s arrival, the family business began to expand rapidly. The brothers changed their family business by founding the Philips corporation. They laid the foundations for the later electronics multinational.
In 1930 the first shaver of the Philips company was introduced and was simply called “The Philishave”.
A day before the German invasion in the Netherlands on 9 Mai 1940, the Philips family fled to the United States of America, taking a large amount of the company capital with them. Operating from the US as the North American Philips Company, they managed to run the company throughout the war. After World War II the company was moved back to the Netherlands, with their headquarters in Eindhoven.
Louis Christiaan Kalff (Amsterdam, November 14th 1897 – Waalre, September 16th, 1976)
Louis Kalff was a pioneering industrial designer in the Netherlands during the first half of the 20th century. With a solid background including studies in sculpture, ceramics, furniture design and architecture, he began to work for the Philips company in 1924, department consumer electronics company marketing.
In 1929 he started a department for design of lighting products (LIBU – Lichtadviesbureau (Dutch for light consultancy). Louis Kalff was responsible for the lighting sections of the World Exhibitions in Barcelona, Antwerp and Paris.
As freelancer he also designed posters and advertising for the Holland America Line, Calvé, Zeebad Scheveningen, Holland Radio and others. Louis Kalff also designed book covers.
After World War II Kalff kept himself active in industrial design for Philips. After his retirement in 1960, Louis Kalff stayed with Philips as a consultant and architect. In 1961 he was given the direction and execution of the Evoluon building in Eindhoven. It was the last work of the light architect who almost worked for forty years at the Philips group.
Gold plated unique version, created by Hervé Gehler. Commissioned by Eric Brusson for Le Chaisanthrope, Paris, France.
Lamps in the movies
A dark grey 1950s Louis Kalff Senior desk lamp was used as a prop in the French psychological thriller TV series Les Rivières Pourpres (The Crimson Rivers) from 2018. Starring Olivier Marchal and Erika Sainte. In the early 2000s 2 films were made with the same name and characters. The lead role was then played by Jean Reno. This is a follow-up series.
The Louis Kalff desk lamp appears in episode 3 of the first series and it was used 2 times, as you can see. In episode 5 it reappears, this time in an office in Roubaix, some 450 km – 280 mi from the other location. Several other lamps appear in this series. In episode 7 and 8 the lamp is located in a police office in Germany, near the French border.
Episode 5, in an office in Roubaix, France.
Episode 6 and 7, in an office in Germany.
Many thanks to Ger for the beautiful pictures and enthusiasm.